mcquay packaged terminal air conditioner

McQuay claims, whether for replacement or new construction, their PTAC /PTHP systems are "the right choice" for all-season temperature comfort in a wide range of commercial environments, including hotels, offices, hospitals and related facilities as well as apartments and dormitories.

McQuay Ptac: Another Viable Option for Replacement

McQuay packaged terminal air conditioners can be properly adjusted to optimally function in different sized work spaces, use the latest in refrigerant with non-degrading, ozone safe R-410A, provide important but standard assurances of quiet and reliable units, and are tough units that can withstand 'demanding' institutional 'applications' for long periods.

These PTAC air conditioners are touted as simple to install and repair, and though McQuay shows you in a diagram how anyone can easily remove the fan from its housing (it slides out), realistically these activities will be performed by technicians. McQuay has been providing the public with quality air conditioners since 1955, so they do have a reputable track record and are undoubtedly a safe bet if you're in the market for a sub-industrial cooling and heating unit.

While McQuay ptacs seem to be right up to speed on all the basic modern air conditioner functionality, additions like room freeze protection, electric-heat override, multi-layered condensation elimination, and a variety of comfort ensuring air control features definitely make them cutting edge in these key areas.

Energy efficiency
When the heat pump is needed, the electric heat turns on only when the outside coil temperature goes down to 28 degrees. This saves energy by keeping the ptac in heat pump mode longer.

For industry standards specs, these heat pumps seem to be both competitive and reliable, with some useful utilities to boot. Aside from the electric heat override function mentioned, McQuay has taken extra measure to guarantee against compressor failure. Run times, both on and off, are regulated as well as protection against overheat and 'low ambient lockout' in temperatures below 25F. All of the parts to the unit are easily accessed through sliding panels, but most end users will not find that to be of any particular advantage other than it saving the serviceman time during repairs. McQuay also claims that the LED readouts from sensors at the unit's coils are in fact 'diagnostic' but in reality their only usefulness seems to be in displaying a coded error should there be a mishap.

Two McQuay Ptac Models
McQuay's PTAC systems come in two unit configurations, the PDAA/PDHA 16" x 42" Angled Top and the PDAF/PDHF 16" x 42" Flat Top. Both are touted by McQuay as "complete solution" heat pump units that are nearly silent and have outstanding performance ratios. The angled top has robust coils built on the very latest heat transmission and optimizing technology, and the goal for the unit is to provide maximum comfort at a minimal cost. Fans, indoors and out, are treated with a permanent lubrication and the indoor fan wheel is a super quiet tangential fixture. The touchpad is mounted rather than remote, though the unit can also be controlled from a wall-mounted thermostat.

The PDAF/PDHF Flat Top is nearly identical to the angled top modeled with slightly different cabinet options. Additional, the PDAF/PDHF has an ExtendAire option, which is a cabinet kit to ensure and extend stability when using the unit for two rooms.

Is this ptac quiet?
All of the ptac manufacturers make claims of having a quiet ptac, McQuay is no different and has taken pains to make its ptacs less noisy. The fan motors are high efficiency PSC motors that are permanently lubricated. The separate outdoor fan motor is enclosed to prevent water damage from condensate buildup in humid climates or heavy rain. Other design condsiderations to make this unit more quiet are the heavy gauge chassis and cabinet aimed at minimizing vibration noise common in ptac heat pumps. The compressor also has vibration dampeners ensuring the moving parts do not make contact with the chassis.

What does all of this sound dampening result in? McQuay claims the noise level of its Applied ptac heat pumps, when cooling at low speed, are somewhere between conversational speech and a library.

Remote Controls
As mentioned, either unit can be remotely controlled from a wall-mounted thermostat by using RCBWYG terminals, with the unit's Control Selection jumper set to T'STAT. The unit can then respond normally to the thermostat's settings, and the readout on the touchpad will show the mode and temperature, but the buttons will become inactive during this mode. The touchpad itself is especially well suited to institutions. It can be programmed for seven days, or seven days in advance, and it has a master/slave function in situations where multiple units are being used. Units with the Programmable LUI or the Premium board may come with a touchpad that provides an automatic 'changeover' function from heating to cooling and vice versa. Two modes are available, one that allows for programming and one that does not.

You can buy wall-mounted thermostats as accessories for McQuay's ptac heat pumps, both the non-programmable and programmable types. Other items include the remote sensor for trouble spots and poor airflow areas and a wifi version of the remote control. Heavier accessories available include both electrical and hydronic subbases, and drain kits to help remove condensate water. Wall sleeves and louvers are also available and improve the unit aesthetically if that is a concern.

The most significant and handy add on is the ExtendAire Kit which allows you to cool or heat two rooms with one unit. Be forewarned though that installation involves putting a hole in the adjacent wall to create a slot to accommodate the shaft of the kit.

Final Thoughts
McQuay claims that their PTACs are state of the art, reliable, and efficient. They do indeed present consumers with an attractive, no frills but dependable system. As the company has been 'put to the test' since the 1950's, there should be no reason to doubt the quality and value of their products.

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